CORONAVIRUS:

 What You Need To Know

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Latest from Joe Kelley

    The internet is currently laughing at a public health official from Santa Clara, California, after a video has widely circulated of her licking her finger moments after warning people to not touch their faces for fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In footage of the moment at a recent press conference, Sara Cody, who serves as the public health officer and director for Santa Clara County, could be seen telling the public at one point, “Start working on not touching your face, because one main way viruses spread is when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes.”  APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE.  A video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez similarly advising people against face-touching in remarks to reporters last week has also garnered nearly 136,000 views. A number social media users have noted how frequently the congresswoman touched her face throughout the clip.APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE. 
  • In a story that's gone viral, a woman has spent the last two years watering and nurturing a plant -- only to find out it's fake. Caelie Wilkes, who shared her embarrassing story on Facebook, says she'd probably still be watering the succulent had she not decided to move it to a new pot. That's when she realized the plant she'd been caring for was actually green plastic, stuck in a styrofoam base with sand glued onto it. 'I decided it was time to transplant,' Wilkes says. 'I found the cutest vase. I go to pull it from the original plastic container to learn this plant was fake.'  Thousands of people have shared Wilkes's tale, including a higher-up at Home Depot. The home improvement chain has since sent her a real succulent to take care of, she says. More.  APP USERS CAN SEE IMAGE HERE. 
  • During the Los Angeles stop of her 2020 Vision speaker tour, Oprah Winfrey took a tumble on stage. The media mogul was ironically talking about balance and took a tumble on stage. She called out to the audience 'wrong shoes' before getting up. The reaction on social media was mixed, with some showing concern for O and others dragging her.   Oprah took to social media later in the day to address the incident, saying, 'Sunday Reading and icing. Thank you all for your kind wishes. Yes I slipped on stage and I’m now a meme. But so grateful to be only a little sore. Turning the day into what @michelleobama calls #selfcareSunday.' APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE.  APP USERS CAN SEE IMAGE HERE. 
  • Do you think you would've ever lived this down? Heather Nicholson recently shared a post on Facebook that details a pretty embarrassing incident. Nicholson explains that she picked up her son, Hunter, after school, and that the boy had something exciting to tell her. She says he then rolled up his pant leg and pulled out a pair of her thong underwear. Hunter exclaimed, 'I found this during music class!' Nicholson says the thong had stuck to the inside of the pair of pants due to static cling. Hunter told her when he found it he just panicked and shoved it back in his pant leg because he thought she would want it back. People on social media were apparently amused by the story as Nicholson's post has been shared over 290,000 times. APP USERS CAN SEE PICTURE HERE APP USERS CAN SEE POST HERE There’s even a Facebook Group (who knew?) for people who’ve been embarrassed by static cling:
  • In a story that's guaranteed to make every man within earshot cross his legs and double over in sympathetic pain, a college pole vaulter suffered a painful injury when his pole pierced his scrotum. The squirm-worthy incident occurred Monday when 21-year-old Zach McWhorter was practicing at Brigham Young University, authorities say. Although McWhorter successfully completed a vault, his pole didn't fall properly, remaining vertical just long enough for the student to fall back down onto it, package-first. Fortunately, McWhorter's father -- who's not only his coach, but also a urologist -- was on hand. 'I could see right through my scrotum,' McWhorter says. 'Immediately after the incident, we got in his car and drove to the hospital and he sewed me up. It required 18 stitches.'  Asked if the incident left him with any permanent damage, McWhorter said, 'One day, we'll find out if they function or not.' APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE. 
  • This is why the old adage 'Measure Twice, Cut Once' exists. Had this construction crew heeded the advice, Jeremy Wenninger would still have his home. JR's Demolition had an order to tear down 5336 Richard Avenue in Dallas, but somehow went to 5532 Richard Avenue instead.  The company's owner, Bobby Lindamood, blames Wednesday's mistake on the 1923 craftsman home being empty, with no address on the front and the utilities turned off.  Speaking to WFAA, Lindamood admits, 'All I can say is I'm sorry. It's our worst mistake and we'll make it right.' APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE. 
  • Princess Cruises plans to get the Diamond Princess cleaned, sanitized and ready for new passengers by the end of April ... though it remains unclear whether passengers will still WANT to experience a vacation on that same ship that’s left dozens sickened and two Japanese citizens dead from a coronavirus outbreak aboard the ship while in Japanese waters.  The Diamond Princess has become the world’s most famous cruise ship ... but for surely all the wrong reasons.  First put in the water in 2004, the $500-million ship is only halfway through its expected operating lifespan.  Now, Princess Cruises has announced they plan to take the ship out of service for the amount of time needed to give the ship a thorough sanitation and cleaning. And it’s not going to just be a quick clean. Instead, Princess plans to take the ship completely out of the water in a dry dock while they process the cleaning.  “The expectation is that the ship would be fully sanitized and then taken into dry dock for a period of time,” said Negin Kamali, public-relations director for Princess Cruises, according to Bloomberg News.
  • Visiting a Disney Park is not a cheap experience, but there is a time to visit when prices are about as low as you can expect them to get. Len Testa, president of travel website Touring Plans, says for a trip to Disneyland in California, travelers would likely save the most money visiting between Monday, May 11th, and Thursday, May 14th. He explains, 'The ticket prices are rock bottom ($104 per day plus tax), and the Disneyland hotel rates are $372 per night plus tax, about $94 per night less than the next-cheapest nights I can find.' In general, visiting Disneyland and Disney World in Florida is cheaper on weekdays. Testa says, 'The cheapest upcoming time to visit Walt Disney World is August 23rd through September 12, 2020.' Tickets cost around $103 per night for a four-day pass, and Disney's hotels rates range between $133 to $162 per night plus tax at its lowest-cost resorts, which is the lowest price of the year. Other cheap dates include September 13th through October 8, October 25th through November 4th, November 8th through November 20th, and November 28th through December 5th. The summer months can also be fairly affordable at Walt Disney World, unlike Disneyland, due to Florida's heat. More.
  • Typically, restaurants would go to great lengths to keep mold from being present in their food.  But not for Burger King.  In a bit of a shock to the system, Burger King has rolled out a new marketing campaign in which they tout their lack of preservatives in their food by showing the advance of mold on the same.  Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer for Burger King's parent company Restaurant Brands International, told USA TODAY officials wanted to do something that would stand out.   “The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly. It’s common knowledge that real food deteriorates quicker because it is free of artificial preservatives,' Machado said. 'Instead of featuring our Whopper sandwich with the classic flawless and often too perfect photographic style typically used in fast food advertising, we decided to showcase something real, honest and that only Burger King could do.”  The fast-food chain said in a news release that it’s showing mold “can be a beautiful thing” to highlight removing artificial preservatives from the Whopper in most European countries and in select U.S. markets. MORE
  • There was a grumble of both disgust and amusement when a couple of pigeons were found in Las Vegas in December with tiny cowboys hats affixed to their tiny bird heads.  Now, as all eyes are on Las Vegas ahead of Saturday’s Nevada presidential caucuses, the hats-on-pigeons are back ... but with a twist this time.  Instead of tiny cowboy hats, these pigeons are seen wearing red Make American Great Again (MAGA) hats made popular by President Donald Trump.   The birds were released ahead of Trump’s arrival in Las Vegas on Tuesday night by a self-proclaimed “underground radical group” which goes by the acronym P.U.T.I.N (Pigeons, United To Interfere Now).  More.  APP USERS CAN SEE VIDEO HERE. 
  • Joe Kelley

    News Director

    Joe Kelley has joined the staff of News 96.5 as News Director and host of Orlando's Morning News. Joe comes to Orlando from News 96.5’s sister-station KRMG in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he also held both positions.

    Joe has been recognized many times over for his successes as an on-air radio personality and community leader. He has received awards from Radio and Records Magazine, Radio Ink Magazine, the Dallas Press Club, and Las Vegas Women in Communications, the Tulsa Press Club, the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters and more. In 2007, Joe was named to the "Top 40 Under 40" achievers in Tulsa People Magazine, The Journal Record Newspaper and the Tulsa Business Journal.

    More than just a broadcaster, Joe has been a writer for Tulsa Kids Magazine since 2005. His monthly column focuses on the observational humor he enjoys while raising his three young children with his wife of 16 years, Nicole. Joe's now featured in Orlando Family Magazine with his Twitter MoMENts column.

    Joe has been active in the Rotary Club and has served on the board of directors and as sergeant-at-arms. Joe is also a long-time volunteer, board member and former chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma. Joe has raised more than $1.4 million in the last 7 years for Make-A-Wish.

    Radio was a calling for Joe.

    Literally.

    His broadcast career began in 1982, in the small southeast Texas town of Nederland.

    The phone in his high school journalism class rang. The teacher was out of the room at the moment, so Joe reached for the phone.

    “Hey, you wanna be on the radio?” the voice on the phone asked.

    Unbeknownst to Joe at that moment, on the other end of that phone line was a 30-year-plus career in broadcast journalism.

    Calling was a local radio station program director in need of free help.

    Joe jumped at the chance.

    For most people, opportunity knocks.

    In Joe’s case, it called.

    And while his initial introduction to radio was entirely unexpected, Joe's ascension to his level of professional success is quite deliberate and the result of three decades of thoughtful and creative performances on award-winning radio stations across the country.

    Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Seminole County deputies said they found trafficking amounts of heroin and cocaine after detectives found a stolen car Thursday morning at a Florida home. Deputies said cash and several handguns were also seized at the home in unincorporated Lake Mary. A baby alligator was also being kept illegally in the home, deputies said. Four suspects are facing several felony charges. “Make no mistake, any criminals thinking they can use our coronavirus emergency to take advantage know that our dedicated men and women are keeping our neighborhoods safe,” said Sheriff Dennis Lemma.
  • More than 1.2 million people worldwide – including more than 312,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, April 5, continue below:  Italy sees lowest death rate in weeks Update 8:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Health officials believe the curve is flattening in Italy where the country recorded its lowest death rate in nearly two weeks. Italy’s Civil Protection Service said Sunday 525 people died in a 24-hour period, the lowest since March 19 when 427 people died, The Associated Press reported. “The curve, which had been plateauing for days, is starting to descend,' health officials Silvio Brusaferro said Sunday. More than 15,800 people have died from the virus in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins virus tracking site. There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases. The country recorded more than 4,300 new cases Sunday. However, that number is a decrease from earlier in the outbreak when daily cases topped 6,000.The country has been on lockdown for nearly four weeks. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Washington sending 400 ventilators from national stockpile to New York Update 7:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. 'I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,' Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile, KIRO-TV reported. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths. Boris Johnson admitted to hospital with virus Update 6:06 p.m. EDT April 5: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday because of the coronavirus. He went to the hospital because he still has symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, The Associated Press reported. Officials said the move is a “precautionary step,” the BBC reported. Johnson is expected to stay overnight. Johnson, 55, has been quarantined since testing positive March 26. Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for virus  Update 4:56 p.m. EDT April 5: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. It is believed the big cat was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, accoridng to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. Death Valley National Park temporarily closes Update 3:26 p.m. EDT April 5: Death Valley National Park has been temporarily closed, effective Saturday due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, the National Park Service said on its website. The National Park Service said Daylight Pass and California highway 190 will remain open at the park, which is located in California and Nevada. The order means all park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice, according to the website. Fauci says coronavirus could become seasonal Update 3:11 p.m. EDT April 5: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. said there is a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely the disease will be under control globally. “Unless we get this globally under control, there’s a very good chance that it will assume a seasonal nature,” Fauci, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,' said Sunday. “We need to be prepared, that since it unlikely would be completely eradicated from the planet, that as we get into (the) next (flu) season, we may see the beginning of a resurgence.” Trump approves disaster declarations for Delaware, South Dakota Update 2:06 p.m. EDT April 5: President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota, according to CNN. The president has now approved disaster declarations for 42 states, the U.S. Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Navy captain relieved of aircraft carrier command tests positive Update 12:46 p.m. EDT April 5: Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported, citing who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, The New York Times reported, citing two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family. A Navy spokesman declined comment on the captain’s status, the newspaper reported. Crozier was removed from the warship Thursday. He was fired after the San Francisco Chronicle reported Crozier emailed a letter to Navy leaders that listed failures in providing necessary resources to disinfect the ship as the virus spread through it, the Times reported. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” there were 155 confirmed coronavirus cases among sailors aboard the aircraft carrier. “There is an investigation ongoing,” Esper said on “State of the Union.” “All the services at times relieve commanders without the benefit of an investigation up front because they’ve lost confidence in them. It’s certainly not unique to the Navy.” NJ governor says state has secured 500 ventilators Update 12:14 p.m. EDT April 5: In a tweet Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his state has secured about 500 additional ventilators after having “multiple” conversations with the White House. “Ventilators are our No. 1 need right now,” Murphy tweeted. “I won’t stop fighting to get us the equipment we need to save every life we can.” Queen Elizabeth II: 'History will remember your actions’ Update 10:44 a.m. EDT April 5: Queen Elizabeth II, making a rare address to the nation, is expected to urge citizens in the United Kingdom to exercise discipline and resolve during the coronavirus crisis. Normally the queen, now 93, makes one speech annually, but this will be the second in two months, the BBC reported. 'I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said, according to excerpts obtained by The Associated Press. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.” The queen has given an address like this on only three other occasions, according to the AP: After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, and during first Gulf War in 1991. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said in remarks that will be broadcast Sunday night. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.” ‘Hardest and saddest’ week ahead, surgeon general says Update 10:26 a.m. EDT April 5: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the upcoming week will be the “hardest and the saddest” for Americans. Adams, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” characterized the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic as a “Pearl Harbor moment” and a “9/11 moment.” “I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Adams said on the news program. DC, Maryland, Virginia see increase in cases Update 10:10 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in the area around Washington, D.C. Sunday morning, there were 6.422 cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, The Washington Post reported. There were 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,410 in Virginia and 906 in the District of Columbia, the newspaper reported. The total of virus-related deaths stood at 126 -- 52 in Virginia, 53 in Maryland and 21 in D.C. Pastor at Falwell’s church tests positive Update 8:59 a.m. EDT April 5: Charles Billingsley, worship leader of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, tested positive for the coronavirus, Pastor Jonathan Falwell told WDBJ. Falwell posted the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday. He says Billingsley’s symptoms are mild and he is getting better each day. Legendary NFL kicker Tom Dempsey dies from complications Update 8:42 a.m. EDT April 5: Former NFL placekicker Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 1970, died Saturday from complications from the coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. Dempsey contracted COVID-19 in March during an outbreak at a New Orleans retirement home, NOLA.com reported. He is one of 15 residents at the home to die from the virus. Dempsey was born without fingers on his right hand and wore a small, flat shoe on his kicking foot, the website reported. His record-setting field goal, on the last play of the game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, helped the Saints rally to a 19-17 victory. His field goal beat the previous mark by seven yards. NBA, Knicks, Nets work with Chinese official to donate 1M surgical masks to New York Update 7:50 a.m. EDT April 5: The NBA and two professional basketball teams are working with a Chinese official to provide 1 million surgical masks to “essential workers” in New York. According to Reuters, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the donation – a collaborative effort involving the league, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and Chinese Consul General Huang Ping – Saturday on social media. “New York thanks you,” Cuomo tweeted Saturday afternoon. “We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.” >> See the tweet here As of Sunday morning, New York had reported at least 114,174 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass without public Update 6:52 a.m. EDT April 5: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis took a different approach to his Palm Sunday Mass, typically celebrated outside in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City with tens of thousands of people looking on. According to The Associated Press, the pope celebrated the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. Only a few prelates, nuns and guests were invited to attend, the AP reported. As of Sunday morning, Italy had reported 124,632 COVID-19 cases – the third-highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy also had logged at least 15,362 deaths, more than any other country. Oprah Winfrey donating $10 million to relief efforts Update 5:45 a.m. EDT April 5: Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said last week. In an Instagram post Thursday, Winfrey praised America’s Food Fund, a donation drive started by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation. According to the initiative’s GoFundMe page, it is currently benefiting two food charities: Feeding America and World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. “I was struck by the work these organizations are doing, and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help,” Winfrey wrote. “I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity.” She added that she is “donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up.” >> See the post here As of Sunday morning, America’s Food Fund’s crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $13 million toward its $15 million goal. Tokyo to report 143 new cases, breaking city’s single-day record Update 4:43 a.m. EDT April 5: Tokyo on Sunday will report 143 new coronavirus cases, topping the city’s single-day record, the Japan Times is reporting. Japan’s capital city has reported more than 1,000 cases of the virus, according to the newspaper. On Sunday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported 3,139 confirmed coronavirus cases and 77 deaths in Japan. BBB warns of fake coronavirus stimulus check, other scams Update 3:40 a.m. EDT April 5: Scammers across the United States continue to trick people in an attempt to steal their money or information, WHBQ-TV is reporting. The Better Business Bureau said that most of the recent scams reported involves the stimulus checks that the government will be sending out to citizens. Here are some of the scams reported to the BBB this week: A phone call saying that student loans qualify you for immediate COVID-19 relief. The woman who reported this scam said she doesn’t have any student loans. Two Facebook messages from someone posing as a government official that that says you qualify for an immediate COVID-19 grant. Both targets were offered grants of $50,000 to $300,000 if they paid an upfront fee by gift cards or wire. One victim said the person communicating with her was posing as William Barr, U.S. Attorney General. A Facebook message from a “friend” that asks you to call a specified number and give your Social Security Number so you can find out when you’ll get your government relief check. The woman who reported this scam said several of her church members had told her about it thinking it was real. A text message asking for your Social Security Number to see if you qualified for $50,000 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money was for seniors affected by coronavirus. A text message stating that if you confirmed your bank account information and paid $50, you could get your stimulus check immediately. The FBI has warned of a text message scam that appears to be from Costco offering you $100 to spend there. The FBI says if you click on the link, malware will be downloaded to your device. The Better Business Bureau said to remember: The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the stimulus money. No fees. No charges. No nothing. The government does not need you to provide your personal information in order to receive your payment. They will deposit money into the account you gave on your tax return last year or send you a check. Anyone asking for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number is a scammer. The checks are not in the mail … yet. Anyone who tells you they can expedite your check for a fee is a scammer. Never give your bank account information to someone you don’t know. Scammers will call and pressure you to divulge your bank account information so they can steal the money in the account. Look-alikes and sound-alikes aren’t the real thing. Just because the a caller claims to be with the government doesn’t mean he is. Scammers make up official-sounding names to fool you. Phone numbers can deceive. Con artists “spoof” their phone numbers to change what you see in caller ID. They could be calling from anywhere. If you spot a scam, please report it to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker. HIV drug showing signs of successfully treating coronavirus patients Update 1:44 a.m. EDT April 5: A drug used to treat HIV and cancer patients has shown success in treating some of the most severe coronavirus patients and was just cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a phase two clinical trial. Much of the work behind the drug is happening in Washington state. The drug was developed by a company called CytoDyn in Vancouver, Washington. It is manufactured by a company in Bothell, Washington, AGC Biologics, which makes a special molecule that is the key ingredient in the drug, KIRO-TV reported. Scientists at CytoDyn figured out it could work to treat COVID-19, and the first severely sick patients who’ve tried it have shown improvement. The drug is called leronlimab, comes in a vial and is a two-shot-per-week dose over two weeks. It is being tried on 10 of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The patients are on ventilators, and some are barely conscious. “The first four patients who were intubated, two were extubated. One of them self-extubated and became alert,” said Nader Pourhassan, the CEO of CytoDyn. Now the two patients are out of the intensive care unit. Pourhassan said when he heard the results, he had to stop what he was doing. “And cried for about five minutes. It was very, very emotional,” Pourhassan said. He said studies show that in the U.S., 85% of COVID-19 patients who end up needing ventilators will die. But the patients who’ve gotten shots of this drug have shown strong results. “All eight patients we’ve analyzed so far – the first eight patients – saw immunological benefits. The FDA immediately allowed us to have a phase two randomized trial. We are initiating that today,” Pourhassan said Friday. He said the results were even seen in COVID patients who only got the shots three days, though it takes two weeks for the drugs to take full effect. Read more here. U.S. cases soar past 312,000, including nearly 8,500 deaths Update 12:53 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 312,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Sunday. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 312,146 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 8,496 deaths. Worldwide, there are 1,203,099 confirmed cases and 64,774 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 126,168 reported in Spain and the 124,632 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed deaths in the U.S., 3,565 have occurred in New York, 846 in New Jersey, 540 in Michigan and 409 in Louisiana. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 114,174 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 34,124, Michigan with 14,225 and California with 13,878. Five other states have each confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus cases, including: • Louisiana: 12,496, including 409 deaths • Massachusetts: 11,736, including 216 deaths • Florida: 11,545, including 195 deaths • Pennsylvania: 10,444, including 139 deaths • Illinois: 10,359, including 244 deaths Meanwhile, Washington state has confirmed at least 7,500 novel coronavirus infections, while Texas and Georgia have confirmed at least 6,000 cases each. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. “I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,” Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths.
  • Police in a Louisiana city blared a siren signaling the start of curfew -- unknowing that it sounded similar to the alarm in the horror movie “The Purge.” Crowley police sounded the siren Friday night, prompting complaints from residents familiar with the horror franchise, KATC reported. Chief Jimmy Broussard said he was not familiar with the movies. The department will no longer use any type of siren to note curfew hours, KATC reported. The siren sounded eerily similar to the alarm in the movie “The Purge,” where it signaled all crimes, including murder, were legal for a 12-hour period. The Acadia Parish sheriff distanced his department from the noise. “Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” K.P. Gibson said in a statement. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ’Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.”
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first known infection in an animal or a tiger anywhere, The Associated Press reported. It is believed Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. The zoo on Tuesday shared video on social media of the tigers enjoying a swim. Agriculture officials are warning people infected with the coronavirus to avoid their pets, like they would other people. “Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people,” agriculture officials said in a statement. “Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • President Donald Trump this weekend bluntly warned Americans to prepare for what his team said could be one of the roughest weeks yet against the Coronavirus, as the U.S. has now had four consecutive days with over 1,000 new deaths related to the virus outbreak. 'This will be probably be the toughest week,' the President told reporters at a Saturday briefing. 'There will be a lot of death, unfortunately.' Top federal health officials agreed with that assessment. 'Right now, we're seeing - as well all said correctly - that this is probably going to be a really bad week,' said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert for the U.S. government. Fauci joined the President in again urging Americans to do what they can to limit their social activities, and thus limit the spread of the virus. 'The only tool - but the best tool that we have - is mitigation,' Fauci told reporters at a Sunday night White House briefing. Fauci reminded reporters that the measures being taken by Americans in terms of social distancing take about two and a half weeks to show up in terms of fewer cases, and a drop in the number of deaths. 'People really understand the responsibility they have for themselves, their family and for the country,' Fauci said at the White House. Fauci's colleague, Dr. Deborah Birx, told reporters that health officials continue to see the most problems in the New York City metro area, as well as in New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. Birx also name-checked Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington State, Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. - where there have been rumblings in recent days about a possible broader spread of the virus. 'We do see hopeful signs in Spain and Italy. They have completed nearly four weeks of mitigation,' Birx said, telling Americans they should follow the lead of those nations in terms of social distancing, as a way to stop the spread of the virus. During Sunday's briefing, the President repeated his endorsement of the use of hydroxychloroquine - a drug often associated with malaria treatment - to be used against the Coronavirus. 'What really do we have to lose?' the President asked reporters at one point, encouraging people to use the drug, even though it has not been specifically found to stop the virus. 'It may not work, in which case, hey - it didn't work,' the President said at one point. 'And it may work, in which case, it may save a lot of lives.' 'If it does help, great,' Mr. Trump added. 'If it doesn't help, we gave it a shot.' The President's promotion of hydroxychloriquine has drawn concerns from Fauci - who has noted the lack of broader trials - but Mr. Trump has pressed forward with the idea, bolstered by support among GOP lawmakers and conservative media. On Sunday, when one reporter tried to ask Fauci his opinion, the President stepped in and did not let Fauci answer. 'You know how many times he's answered that question?' the President said to a reporter from CNN. '15 times. You don't have to ask that question. He's answered that question 15 times.' The death toll from the Coronavirus in the U.S. will go over 10,000 people on Monday.